Two poems by Tanaya Winder

Tanaya Winder

Tanaya Winder

Tanaya Winder is from the Southern Ute and Duckwater Shoshone Nations. She graduated from Stanford University in 2008 with a BA in English. Tanaya was a finalist in the 2009 Joy Harjo Poetry Competition and a winner of the A Room Of Her Own Foundation's Spring 2010 Orlando prize in poetry. Her work appears in Cutthroat magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, Adobe Walls, Barrier Islands Review, and Lingerpost. She is the co-editor of a forthcoming collection Soul Talk, Song Language: Conversations with Joy Harjo. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at the University of New Mexico.

consider the assemblage of a longing

rendered in stone so distinct it should be studied not quite

unlike Orpheus

and Eurydice who tried to return to the land of the living—

El Parque del Amor

and El Beso should be a part of this body of myths

like Rodin's Kiss,

the book in Paolo's hand, a near-miss of lips, the mouth

opens a cyclone, breaths

barely separated as the space between pages. But,

there are no gods,

no monsters, or heroes—just two unnamed bodies in history.

And maybe

in the land of the living it is certain one lover will always try to look back,

to call the other—

the way the sun continually begs the moon to rearrange


into monuments assembled in longing.




measure by measure:

the body begsat the soul's release please do not leave.
The last crescendo—breathing and
the body intertwined like two hands
offered as a gesture like grasping at butterflies
longing to hold something precious.
The legatos of trying—
hear the search in continuous acts,
the staccatoed beats.
Dal capo al coda,
go back to the beginning
in the music of being human,
the final score and the counterpoint:
hands outstretched as if
to say I cannot stay